This journey began four years ago.
I was lying on a trolley, hurtling down a corridor, the paramedics running. I had been on such trolleys before, but never with such speed. I must be dying. Why else would they run? It wasn’t painful, but there was deep, deep regret. For all the things I had planned to do and hadn’t.
Dreams like skittles flew past, back into the abyss. Watching my sons, 8 and 12, not grow up. Writing my book, never. Nursing my parents to their ends, as their sole carer who would finish that job? Enjoying time with my partner, gone. Time with my friends, lost. Time, time, time. So much time wasted.
So this is how it ends? Rudely, quickly, messily, so much left unsaid and unfinished. And I was the healthy one. Ha! All the regrets piled up, crashed into my pain-wracked body and stopped. A new force came through. A rolling wave of love, a real tsunami of connectedness swept over me and up through the core of my being. For all those rushing around me, there was intense love. Love for my family and friends, love for my community and love for my being.
So this is why we are here!
The walls of the corridor pulsated and the air sparkled around me. How did I not know this? It’s all about love! That is all. It’s all about how we love and care for one another. So simple. Why couldn’t I see it before? But now I am dying and it’s all too late. Why must I receive this realisation so late … too late?
Fade to black. In the dead space, the drugged place of an induced coma, my partner was told the facts. That I was having a brain hemorrhage. That there was only a fifty percent chance that I would make it through the night. That, if I survived, there was a high probability I would be permanently brain damaged.
The lights were turned on and I began to piece together my surrounds. A nurse bent over every hour to ask ‘What’s your name? Where are you? What’s the date?” And all I wanted to say: “I love you. You’re beautiful! What’s your name?”
The ward was brightly lit 24/7. How on earth can anyone get any decent rest? But rest is not what doctors here wanted for their patients. In the bed next to me lay Donald who was not waking up. Every hour a nurse would come past and bark “Donald”. Then louder and louder, Donald, DONALD, D O N A L D!
Poor Donald, I loved him too and wanted him to wake up. So I could tell him.
The tubes running out of my brain prevented me from turning my head to see him closer. Yet, Donald and I were closely linked and forever, that I knew.
Friends later pooh-poohed the mystical, life-affirming experience I had during my Near Death Experience. They said it was an illusion brought on by the drugs that were pumped into me.
Weeks after I had been discharged. The drugs had left my body, but the love stayed with me. It had entered my soul and I began to reappraise my life’s purpose through the eyes of love.
Then the changes really began.